THREE-WAY TIE FOR RALLY CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD: Hoad, Maloney and Read top of the class
Chris Hoad, Stuart Maloney and Josh Read are joint leaders of the Barbados Rally Club’s (BRC) Champion Driver title chase following the Double-Header Sprint at Bushy Park on June 4, which kicked off the second season to be delayed by Covid-19 pandemic. Read leads the 2wd Championship as well, while Dane Skeete sits at the head of the 4wd standings ahead of round three, scheduled for mid-July.
Although Maloney’s nephew Zane won the event in both directions, neither he nor Mark Maloney, who finished fourth and seventh, were registered for championship points. That meant Stuart claimed maximum points on the debut of his new Rock Hard Cement/Bushy Park Barbados/VP Fuels/Chevron/Maloney Racing Skoda Fabia Rally2 Evo in the FIA R5 class, which had attracted a record entry of seven and was one of only three fully-subscribed classes.
Campaigning his familiar Weetabix Toyota Starlet, Read picked up overall 2wd and SuperModified 2 honours in both directions, while Hoad (Subway/Dasani Water/Guava Tech BimmaCup) did the same in Clubman 2; registered for the BRC Championship for the first time, the BMW driver has enjoyed an excellent start to the new season, claiming his first-ever BimmaCup victory at the Vaucluse Raceway just a week later.
Skeete (Sol/CO Williams Sand & Lime/Automotive Art Subaru Impreza WRC S12) finished behind Zane and Stuart Maloney in the first direction – just two-tenths covered the top three – then second to Zane in the reverse, giving him a two-point lead over Stuart in the 4wd points. With fourth and third overall, Jamaica’s Jeff Panton sits another two points adrift in the Sandals Resorts/Rubis/Bushy Park Barbados KIG Ford Fiesta WRC, with Adam Mallalieu, who made an impressive debut in his father Andrew’s Terra Caribbean Ford Fiesta R5, in fourth place. The 17-year-old former karting Champion is also second to Maloney in the FIA R5 class and five points ahead of the reigning Champion Roger Hill (Esso/MaxMeyer Paints/MotorMac Skoda Fabia R5).
After those first two rounds, the 2wd Championship reflects the SuperModified 2 top three precisely, Read with 30 points followed by Barry Mayers (Chefette/Rubis/Quality Tyre/Sign Depot Ford Fiesta) and Andrew Jones (Gale’s Agro/A P Jones Pharmacy/Southern Surf Beach Apartments Ford Escort MkII) on 26 and 22 respectively. Fourth is Reigning Champion Driver Neil Corbin (Nassco/Jason Jones/Auto Solutions/Emtage Electric/Pressout Performance Toyota Starlet), who leads SM1, with the lone runner in Modified 2 Jamal Brathwaite (Consumers Guarantee Insurance/Stylez Auto Spa/TEC Barbados/Caribbean Auto Glass Honda Civic Type-R) fifth and Suleman Esuf in sixth place, following the successful debut of his family team’s SM2 BMW 1M.
While Hoad is only ninth in the 2wd standings, his victories in C2 came against a strong field of BimmaCup cars, including Reigning Class Champion Jason Downey and Derek Edwards, who won his class 2 at Bushy Park in 2017 and then the Caribbean BimmaCup. Edwards withdrew from the results, however, when he registered that his tyres did not conform to the regulations, so Harold Morley collected second-place points in both directions, with Wayne Archer just pipping Downey for third in the class standings.
Stuart Garcia, who narrowly lost out to Downey in C2 last year, has moved up to C3, in which he was the only starter in his Guava Tech/Smith’s Engineering Works/Kirba Inc BimmaCup Too, while regular C1 runner Jason Tull (Jay-T’s Auto Services/SRG Engineering/SP Imports/Redline Performance Imports/BG Prod/CA Autobody Repairs Peugeot 106 Rallye S2) was beaten in both directions by former Champion Neil Barnard, driving a BPCI Suzuki Swift Sport on his return to competition for the first time in more than 10 years.